Some very exciting news to share!
Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced today that the state’s infant mortality rate dropped from 7.7 deaths per 1,000 births in 2007 to 6.7 deaths per 1,000 births in 2008 – its lowest rate ever.
Of special note to me was a statistic delivered by Dr. Karen Remley, the Virginia Health Commissioner: there were 22 fewer SIDS or safe-sleeping-related deaths in 2008 than in 2007.
This is terrific news and something that all who have been involved at the state, local and private level should be proud. I’d like to think we have contributed by educating parents, grandparents and all caregivers that babies are safest from the risk of SIDS when sleeping on their backs…or This Side Up.
Our This Side Up campaign was announced in March of 2006 and was implemented in a handful of hospitals later that year. Since then, we’ve grown to nearly 20 Virginia hospitals, and we were especially honored to include our onesies in the New Parent Kits provided to Central Virginia parents through a partnership with Gov. Kaine’s Smart Beginnings initiative, Ukrop’s Super Markets Inc., Ukrop’s Dress Express and Pampers.
I applaud Gov. Kaine and all who have been involved - today is a big step forward. But, I also know that there’s more work to be done.